Kieron Dyer claims he has finally learned from his mistakes and is determined to make up for lost time.
The 28-year-old is one of the most talented midfielders in the English game, but his career has been dogged by controversies.
He has had to contend with a number of injuries, off-field troubles and disputes with managers.
The Newcastle midfielder says his biggest regret was to refuse to play out of position for Sir Bobby Robson and is delighted the pair are now on speaking terms, but is eager to show he is now on the right path.
"I'm a lad from Ipswich," Dyer told the Daily Mirror. "We were a poor family and then I moved to Newcastle and it's like a religion and suddenly you are doing well and everyone is saying how great you are.
"For two years I went stale. I wasted it. I had a couple of good games here and there but never had the consistency.
"When you're young, sometimes you have to learn the hard way. I have had to come full circle to get to where I am now.
"I was out of the game for 18 months with injuries and I want to make up for lost time. I want to be up there with the Stevie Gs and the Frank Lampards who do it week in and week out.
"Since then, I have really got my head down. I know I haven't played great every day but I have been working towards being more consistent and feel there is no limit to what I can achieve.
"I took football for granted. I thought it would go on forever. To be out for nearly two years, you itch to get back out there.
"The enthusiasm I have now, it feels like I am back at school. I just want to play all the time.
"I want to reach the heights some people believe I can. I want to become an England regular. I've a lot to do. I'm making up for lost time."